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Maybe This Is Why We Disagree On Iraq / Terrorism

Old 11-19-05, 04:37 PM
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Maybe This Is Why We Disagree On Iraq / Terrorism

I was just thinking after reading the usual posts that I and many others have been making over the past few heated days, of the reasons why we are disagreeing (taking away the political stuff). I came up with two themes which run through most of our arguments:

1) Some of us are arguing from a standpoint of an actual reduction in terrorism worldwide.

2) Some of us are arguing from a standpoint of creating a better government in Iraq.

Looking at it that way, I can see why our views are conflicting. I think ALL of us are for a better life for the Iraqis. But some of us are critical of the increase in terrorism brought about by the new government, and whether terrorism will actually be reduced after a few years of the Iraqi government being on its own (if it ever will be). And then we have others who disagree that terrorism is increasing.

Anyway, just a thought. I probably missed dozens of other points but these two seem to stand out for me.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
And then we have others who disagree that terrorism is increasing.
You can't disagree that the Iraq war has caused global terrorism to increase dramatically. That's a fact. You can however argue this is a temporary thing caused by creating unrest in Iraq and that once the country becomes somewhat stable, the overall long term effect on global terrorism will be positive. That position however, requires a lot of "if" and a lot of faith.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:53 PM
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I'm not at all certain that the war in Iraq is primarily responsible for the increase in terrorist activities. Without the U. S.-British invasion of Iraq, terrorisism may very well have escalated.
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Old 11-19-05, 05:08 PM
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Who's to say the terrorism is "increasing"? Global terrorism? You don't just wake up one morning and think, "you know, today seems like a good day to strap C4 and ball bearings to my chest and go to the mall." Instead of a random attacks months apart, they've all come out of the woodwork, which gives the good guys a better chance at taking them out. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the terrorists fighting our soldiers than civilians.
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Old 11-19-05, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
Who's to say the terrorism is "increasing"?
YOUR government does. There's been plenty of posts and stats on this issue.

Global terrorism? You don't just wake up one morning and think, "you know, today seems like a good day to strap C4 and ball bearings to my chest and go to the mall." Instead of a random attacks months apart, they've all come out of the woodwork, which gives the good guys a better chance at taking them out. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the terrorists fighting our soldiers than civilians.
a) You're reducing global terrorism to Iraq.
b) Insurgent attacks on US soldiers in Iraq weren't even counted in the global terrorism stats.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
You can't disagree that the Iraq war has caused global terrorism to increase dramatically. That's a fact. You can however argue this is a temporary thing caused by creating unrest in Iraq and that once the country becomes somewhat stable, the overall long term effect on global terrorism will be positive. That position however, requires a lot of "if" and a lot of faith.
This is a good point.
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Old 11-19-05, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Great thread so far.

The main point for me is this: since Islamic terrorism is an abundant side-product of a specific culture, the only way of fighting it that makes sense is transforming that culture into something better, a project that not only will improve secutiry for the US, but, if successful, will lift hundreds of millions out of misery.

Think of it as a black box that generates X number of terrorists per time period. You can relentlessly try to combat each of those terrorists individually, and hope you are able to keep it up indefinitely, or you can go and try to fix the black box itself.
nice point.
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Old 11-19-05, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
You can't disagree that the Iraq war has caused global terrorism to increase dramatically. That's a fact. You can however argue this is a temporary thing caused by creating unrest in Iraq and that once the country becomes somewhat stable, the overall long term effect on global terrorism will be positive. That position however, requires a lot of "if" and a lot of faith.
One could probably argue that while global terrorism has grown, terrorism against the US has decreased (assuming we aren't calling any act against us in Iraq to be terrorism). But either way, we can say that terrorism on US soil has decreased, though that would be misleading as there wasn't a huge amount before, just a couple of incidents, and one really big one.

However, I maintain that we disagree on the issue because some people still think Bush didn't win the first election, and have hated anything he has done since day one. Were it Clinton in office, most likely we would see a lot more democratic support. I tend to think we would have less Republican support, but I am not sure of that. Republicans love war, afterall.
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Old 11-20-05, 11:52 AM
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However, I maintain that we disagree on the issue because some people still think Bush didn't win the first election, and have hated anything he has done since day one. Were it Clinton in office, most likely we would see a lot more democratic support. I tend to think we would have less Republican support, but I am not sure of that. Republicans love war, afterall.
I can't remember that far back, were there any anti-war protests by anyone when Clinton decided to bomb the area formerly known as Yugoslavia. Or was it a case of "Say No To War Unless a democrat is president"

Think of it as a black box that generates X number of terrorists per time period. You can relentlessly try to combat each of those terrorists individually, and hope you are able to keep it up indefinitely, or you can go and try to fix the black box itself.
You have expressed my thoughts better than I could.
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Old 11-20-05, 12:39 PM
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Well, these are my thoughts, some of them.

1. I wish the old "war forum" was available, so we could review peoples' thoughts on the war when it began could be examined to see if anyone did predict what has come about, or at least worried that it might come about. War should be a last resort. This one was voluntary.

2. Some of us wondered why we were attacking Iraq when it was a secular regime and islamic terrorism was the real problem.

3. It bothers me that we would allow the "war button" to be pushed by people who, when they were the right age at the right time, wiggled out of the last big stupid war.

4. Why did we try to occupy and remake a good-sized country with a relatively small force? Why did we screw up so badly in occupying Iraq? Why are the people responsible still in charge?

5. I really, really empathize with the patriotic, idealistic kids whose lives, health, and time are being wasted.

6. Iraq is a major disaster in many ways, in ther cost in money and lives and other American resources, but maybe most of all in the loss of our moral position in the world. What do you say about a superpower that preaches human rights and engages in torture and other obscene behavior?

7. We're also a lot weaker tha the world perceived us to be. That's not good.

8. So what do we do? Just leave the place? Will that makes things worse?

Last edited by Mammal; 11-20-05 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-20-05, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mammal
Well, these are my thoughts, some of them.

1. I wish the old "war forum" was available, so we could review peoples' thoughts on the war when it began could be examined to see if anyone did predict what has come about, or at least worried that it might come about. War should be a last resort. This one was voluntary.

2. Some of us wondered why we were attacking Iraq when it was a secular regime and islamic terrorism was the real problem.

3. It bothers me that we would allow the "war button" to be pushed by people who, when they were the right aga at the right time, wiggled out of the last big stupid war.

4. Why did we try to occupy and remake a good-sized country with a relatively small force? Why did we screw up so badly in occupying Iraq? Why are the people responsible still in charge?

5. I really, really empathize with the patriotic, idealistic kids whose lives, health, and time are being wasted.

6. Iraq is a major disaster in many ways, in ther cost in money and lives and other American resources, but maybe most of all in the loss of our moral position in the world. What do you say about a superpower that preaches human rights and engages in torture and other obscene behavior?

7. We're also a lot weaker tha the world perceived us to be. That's not good.

8. So what do we do? Just leave the place? Will that makes things worse?
I echo what you said with 1-3.

4 - I don't know what the proper force should now be. I see no other choice but to trust the judgment of the commanders in the field about what number is needed. I do believe it would have been better if the invasion had been delayed until the 4th Infantry Division was in place to participate in the invasion - preferably from the north.

5 - It looks, at least to me, that our lives and treasure have been somewhat wasted. If a stable government that treats its citizens far better than before and Iraq doesn't threaten its neighbors, and a government is established that is on friendly terms with the U. S. - then I don't believe lives and treasure were wasted. That seems a 'fer' piece off presently.
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Old 11-20-05, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2


4 - I don't know what the proper force should now be. I see no other choice but to trust the judgment of the commanders in the field about what number is needed. I do believe it would have been better if the invasion had been delayed until the 4th Infantry Division was in place to participate in the invasion - preferably from the north.

Reply - Frankly, I don't know what the commanders in the field think - they've been saying all along, in public, that they have plenty of troops - but it's clear that admitting that their forces are inadequate would be a bad career move. To me, it's obvious that they are inadequate.


5 - It looks, at least to me, that our lives and treasure have been somewhat wasted. If a stable government that treats its citizens far better than before and Iraq doesn't threaten its neighbors, and a government is established that is on friendly terms with the U. S. - then I don't believe lives and treasure were wasted. That seems a 'fer' piece off presently.
Reply - True -but if we get an Islamic State allied with Iran, a terrorist hotbed such as we have now we'll have done more harm than good so far as our national interest is concerned.

Last edited by Mammal; 11-20-05 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Clarity?
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Old 11-20-05, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mammal
Reply - True -but if we get an Islamic State allied with Iran, a terrorist hotbed such as we have now we'll have done more harm than good so far as our national interest is concerned.
Absolutely. That's why some of us cautioned against this 'democracy idea.' We may not like the democracy we get.
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Old 11-20-05, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mammal
Well, these are my thoughts, some of them.

1. I wish the old "war forum" was available, so we could review peoples' thoughts on the war when it began could be examined to see if anyone did predict what has come about, or at least worried that it might come about. War should be a last resort. This one was voluntary.

2. Some of us wondered why we were attacking Iraq when it was a secular regime and islamic terrorism was the real problem.

3. It bothers me that we would allow the "war button" to be pushed by people who, when they were the right aga at the right time, wiggled out of the last big stupid war.

4. Why did we try to occupy and remake a good-sized country with a relatively small force? Why did we screw up so badly in occupying Iraq? Why are the people responsible still in charge?

5. I really, really empathize with the patriotic, idealistic kids whose lives, health, and time are being wasted.

6. Iraq is a major disaster in many ways, in ther cost in money and lives and other American resources, but maybe most of all in the loss of our moral position in the world. What do you say about a superpower that preaches human rights and engages in torture and other obscene behavior?

7. We're also a lot weaker tha the world perceived us to be. That's not good.

8. So what do we do? Just leave the place? Will that makes things worse?
#1 - Originally, I was for the invasion. Supported it. But then only months after the invasion, it was clear the US was not there temporarily to kill Saddam and destroy his military power, and by then, talk about remaining their indenfinitely was regular in Bush's speeches. I didn't like the sound of this.

#2 - This is why the war is so political, and is barely touching on terrorism. If terrorism was taken seriously, we would have been to every other country BUT Iraq. Iraq has always been a relatively moderate terrorist country when compared to the others such as Syria, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. Some say look at the bigger picture, as Iraq is the perfect stepping stone to reach these other countries. I disagree.

#3 - Not sure I understand that statement. "aga"?

#4 - It could be because the amount of resistance was underestimated. I think Bush and his military advisors (he had no real terrorist experts with him for advisement which I think shows and the ones there he didn't listen to anyway) had the notion once Saddam fell, there would be resistance from Saddam's closest guards and military personnel, but never conceived the thought that terrorists from other countries would flock to the war like bees to a flower.

#5 - Absolutely. And I think it is shameful that some politicians are using our soldiers as pawns to continue their game. Question the war? Well, how dare you demoralize our men and women in Iraq. At the same time, if our US troops were so important, why didn't they receive proper equipment and supplies early on in the campaign?

#6 - Another one of the reasons why the US was not prepared. US troops and superiors were not disciplined, and it was basically a free-for-all. Very little talk of goals and procedures, and the fact that one US soldier's inappropriate behavior could mean severe losses to the perception.

#7 & #8 - Somewhat, yes. You see, the US put themselves in a situation where they will lose either way (Republicans don't see this entirely but they are aware of it). Stay indefinitely and lose tens of thousands of troops, undergoing massive criticisms worldwide and at home, while giving the terrorists even more victorious reasons to keep on adding to the body counts. Or withdraw soon, and be criticized by terrorists and the world still. So, it just boils down to how many US lives you want to be dead by the time we withdraw.
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Old 11-20-05, 02:49 PM
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#5 - Absolutely. And I think it is shameful that some politicians are using our soldiers as pawns to continue their game. Question the war? Well, how dare you demoralize our men and women in Iraq. At the same time, if our US troops were so important, why didn't they receive proper equipment and supplies early on in the campaign?
It seems they had pretty good equipment and supplies early in the campaign when they were racing a break-neck speed toward Baghdad.

You never have all the equipment and supplies that you would like to have when you begin a military campaign - for a number of reasons - some related to industry that produces those supplies and equipment. You generally have to go with what you've got.
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Old 11-20-05, 03:26 PM
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Yes, when we initially hit Baghdad but I mean "early on" by months after we began to occupy.

The US (to my knowedge) has always lead a good offensive. Part of it is because we are always moving. It's tough to hit a superior moving force who has never been fought before.

But, when US troops began to setup shop, then the element of mobility and surprise was gone. And then we had reports of ill-equipped vehicles, and armor for the troops. I think there were also limited supplies of basic weapons too--didn't I hear the US troops were using weapons found off of killed enemies?
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Old 11-20-05, 04:43 PM
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The weapons taken off killed enemies were AK-47s - they fire when they are very dirty. Our M-16 is niftier and lighter, but jams when sand gets in the gadgetry. I would have the M-14 would be a lot better, and longer-ranged too.
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Old 11-20-05, 10:40 PM
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1. I didn't participate much in the war forum because I was conflicted. I didn't know if we had sufficient reason to invade, but trusted the president to do the right thing. But I believed it would be a long haul. I remember reminding people that we still had troops left in Korea (1952), Japan (1945), and Cuba (1898) (joke).

2. I thought that Saddam was funding Islamic terrorists.

3. I don't buy that whether or not someone dodged active service when he was 20 is the only determining factor whether he can sensibly declare war when he's 60. The people here who've seen active service may disagree with me.

4. I blame the administration. They're still there because they got re-elected.

5. Yup.

6. That's what pisses me off most of all. It's one thing to invade another country. It's a whole 'nother thing to continue making recruiting propaganda for the enemy. We've created problems that will take decades to undo.

7. 8. We got out of Somalia when faced with token resistance. Everyone who didn't like us decided that the US couldn't take a hit, and all you had to do was shoot a few soldiers and the victors of Desert Storm would just fold up. Going to war means having a lot of your young people getting killed. So far we've only lost about 2000 lives, but the propaganda is so thick I can't tell if they've made any difference at all.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:10 AM
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You're right, Saddam was rewarding the families of suicide bombers in Israel, and they were and are terrorists. I am not Israeli.

I suspect basic character doesn't change. Clinton and Bush dodged the draft and turned out to be a bit lacking as presidential material - I expect the kid I knew in the 8th grade who was a decent person still is. I don't have a problem with Cheney's five deferments, I got through college with deferments - but I have a problem with the Clinton/Cheney/Bush finger on the war button, particularly if they give it a push.

My favorite pol, Harry Truman, faked a vision test to qualify to participate in World War 1. Winston Churchill lost his job as First Lord of the Admiralty - and then served on the ground in France. They, at least, knew what's involved.
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